There are tons of software synthesizers in the plugin markets, but often times attention is on those well known products made by big companies. However, there are various smaller developers who have created outstanding effect and synth plugin products and one of such is Cableguys from Germany.
Curve 2 (now in it’s version 2.5) by Cableguys is a subtractive/analogue soft synth plugin which power lies on the ability to draw your very own waveforms using a large editor display. You can draw all kinds of shapes and curves and bend them by adding ‘points’ and dragging them in the editor. This makes it to possible to create almost any waveform available and harmonically rich tones. In the editor tool bar, you can also quickly select all the basic waveforms such as sine, saw, square, pulse, triangle (and flat of course) and proceed editing them further.
There’s three oscillator slots in Curve 2 and you can assign two waveforms per oscillator which volume balance you control with a crossfade knob. Also, each oscillator slot offers a set of knobs to control the pitch, detuning pan and volume. You can also define how the oscillators are routed to filters: serial routing through both filter units, or either just the filter 1 or 2 or you can also choose to bypass the whole filter section.
What’s really cool is that you can also use the drawn waveforms to drive the LFO’s (there’s four LFO’s in total) with all kinds of syncing and triggering possibilities: you can set the tempo in musical units or to a rate in hertz, synced to your host sequencer or retriggered when playing a note. Lot’s of possibilities for all kinds of rhythmical movements.
Using the Modulations section, you can then route the LFO further to modulate other synth parameters such as the cutoff, resonance and pitch. This is a way to create rhythmically diverse patches only limited by your imagination. In the Modulations section, you can also define to use frequency modulation. This opens a tons of possibilities for shaping the tone of your patch even further. You’ll also find the Unisono parameters to make your patches sound really PHATT. There’s up to 16 different voices to choose from with the ability to set their amount of detuning, spread across the stereo image and damping.
There’s also a standard ADSR volume envelope (well, actually three of them) which you can use to control the amplitude and other properties of Curve 2. You can also edit and fine tune the envelope curves in the editor display. What’s new in 2.5 is that the the envelopes (sustain-loop) can now be beat synced.
The filter section has two independent filter units offering various filter types such as low pass, high pass, band pass, peak and notch with various slope types to choose from. And the filters do sound great! Version 2.5 also adds a Sallen-Key filter type with a possibility to choose from two different algorithms for resonance distortion and a Drive -knob to control the distortion amount. It’s a nice addition for expanding the filtering possibilities.
There’s also four macro knobs and you can assign multiple parameters per one knob making it possible to change several parameters quickly. For each new patch, “Fatness” is set as the default for one of the macro knobs. This controls the amount of unisono detuning, spread and damping for quick fatness.
Curve 2 also comes with a HUGE preset library to get you started! By the time I’m writing this, there’s 4459 presets available and it keeps growing as the users can submit their patches to the online preset library. To get all the latest presets all you need to do is to sync your current library. The presets are downloaded from the Cableguys server. You can also filter your preset collection for easier browsing and add ratings if you like. There’s TONS of excellent sounding patches and for a preset junkie like me… well, what can I say? I’m thrilled!
Verdict: In my opinion, Curve 2 is a GEM! It sounds awesome and there’s many modulation possibilities. The interface is logical and easy to use and the large editor display is perfect for waveform editing. Curve 2 is excellent companion for electronic music producer as it’s capable of producing anything from really fat leads and basses to wobbles to beautiful pads and all kinds of rhythmic sequences. And the immense and ever growing preset library will keep you busy for a very long time. My only “complain” is that Curve 2 doesn’t have any internal effects such as reverb and delay, but it’s not that big of an issue. And who knows, maybe we’ll see those in the future releases. I warmly recommend this synth!
- Curve 2 by Cableguys
- Subtractive synth
- Available for WIN and MAC (VST, AU)
- Price: regular price is €119/$159, but there’s a sale going on with 33% off until Dec 30 so the price is now €79/$99
Check a video below where I create something random with Curve 2. Also, check the audio examples below the video.
Before you leave, check this:
With the permission of Cableguys, I’m holding a simple contest, where the winner will receive a free license for the Curve 2.5! All you have to do is to post a comment to the comment section below. Remember to use valid email address. The winner will be randomly picked via RandomPicker.com draw tool amongst everyone who has left a comment.
The contest will run for a week starting from now and the winner will be announced on Monday, 29th of December.